56 Works

Data from: High-throughput sequencing of ancient plant and mammal DNA preserved in herbivore middens

Dáithí C. Murray, Stuart G. Pearson, Richard Fullagar, Brian M. Chase, Jayne Houston, Jennifer Atchison, Nicole E. White, Matthew I. Bellgard, Edward Clarke, Mike Macphail, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, James Haile & Michael Bunce
The study of arid palaeoenvironments is often frustrated by the poor or non-existent preservation of plant and animal material, yet these environments are of considerable environmental importance. The analysis of pollen and macrofossils isolated from herbivore middens has been an invaluable source of information regarding past environments and the nature of ecological fluctuations within arid zones. The application of ancient DNA (aDNA) techniques to hot, arid zone middens remains unexplored. This paper attempts to retrieve...

Data from: Implications of survey effort on estimating demographic parameters of a long-lived marine top predator

John Symons, Kate R. Sprogis & Lars Bejder
Effective management of wildlife populations rely on knowledge of their abundance, survival and reproductive rates. Maintaining long-term studies capable of estimating demographic parameters for long-lived, slow reproducing species is challenging. Insights into effects of research intensity on the statistical power to estimate demographic parameters is limited. Here, we investigate implications of survey effort on estimating abundance, home range sizes and reproductive output of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), using a three-year sub-sample of a long-term,...

Data from: Reconstructing the demographic history of orang-utans using approximate Bayesian computation

Alexander Nater, Maja P. Greminger, Natasha Arora, Carel P. Van Schaik, Benoit Goossens, Ian Singleton, Ernst J. Verschoor, Kristen S. Warren, Michael Krützen & Kristin S. Warren
Investigating how different evolutionary forces have shaped patterns of DNA variation within and among species requires detailed knowledge of their demographic history. Orang-utans, whose distribution is currently restricted to the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo (Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatra (Pongo abelii), have likely experienced a complex demographic history, influenced by recurrent changes in climate and sea levels, volcanic activities and anthropogenic pressures. Using the most extensive sample set of wild orang-utans to date, we employed...

Data from: Applying the multistate capture-recapture robust design to characterize metapopulation structure

Delphine Chabanne, Kenneth H. Pollock, Hugh Finn, Lars Bejder & Delphine B. H. Chabanne
1. Population structure must be considered when developing mark-recapture (MR) study designs as the sampling of individuals from multiple populations (or subpopulations) may increase heterogeneity in individual capture probability. Conversely, the use of an appropriate MR study design which accommodates heterogeneity associated with capture-occasion varying covariates due to animals moving between ‘states’ (i.e. geographic sites) can provide insight into how animals are distributed in a particular environment and the status and connectivity of subpopulations. 2....

Data from: The importance of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat: implications for management

Julian A. Tyne, David W. Johnston, Robert Rankin, Neil R. Loneragan & Lars Bejder
Linking key ecological characteristics with animal behaviour is essential for identifying and protecting important habitats that support life functions. Spinner dolphins display a predictable diurnal behavioural pattern where they forage offshore at night and return to sheltered bays during daytime to rest. These bays, which are also subject to considerable use by humans, have long been recognized as key habitats for this species although the extent to which dolphins rely on specific characteristics of these...

Data from: Is population structure in the European white stork determined by flyway permeability rather than translocation history?

Jill M. Shephard, Rob Ogden, Piotr Tryjanowski, Ola Olsson & Peter Galbusera
European white stork are long considered to diverge to eastern and western migration pools as a result of independent overwintering flyways. In relatively recent times, the western and northern distribution has been subject to dramatic population declines and country-specific extirpations. A number of independent reintroduction programs were started in the mid 1950s to bring storks back to historical ranges. Founder individuals were sourced opportunistically from the Eastern and Western European distributions and Algeria, leading to...

Data from: Multiple introductions from multiple sources: invasion patterns for an important eucalyptus leaf pathogen

Matsepo Taole, Wubetu Bihon, Michael J. Wingfield, Brenda D. Wingfield & Treena I. Burgess
Many population studies on invasive plant pathogens are undertaken without knowing the center of origin of the pathogen. Most leaf pathogens of Eucalyptus originate in Australia and consequently with indigenous populations available, and it is possible to study the pathways of invasion. Teratosphaeria suttonii is a commonly occurring leaf pathogen of Eucalyptus species, naturally distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of eastern Australia where it is regarded as a minor pathogen infecting older leaves; however,...

Sequence alignment for 7 gene regions for new Phytophthora species in clade 2a

Treena Burgess
Five new taxa from Phytophthora ITS Clade 2a are described from Cinnamomum cassia plantations and adjacent waterways in Van Yen, Vietnam, and disturbed rainforest in the Hela Province of Papua New Guinea and from disturbed forest on Christmas Island. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using data from nuclear regions (ITS, β-tubulin; Heat shock protein 90) and mitochondrial regions (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1; cytochrome c oxidase subunit2; NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1; ribosomal protein L10). The molecular...

Data from: Depth dependent dive kinematics suggest cost-efficient foraging strategies by tiger sharks

Samantha Andrzejaczek, Adrian Gleiss, Karissa Lear, Charitha Pattiaratchi, Taylor Chapple & Mark Meekan
Tiger sharks Galeocerdo cuvier are a keystone, top-order predator that are assumed to engage in cost-efficient movement and foraging patterns. To investigate the extent to which patterns of oscillatory diving by these animals conform to these patterns, we used a biologging approach to model their cost of transport. High-resolution biologging tags with tri-axial sensors were deployed on 21 tiger sharks at Ningaloo Reef for durations of 5-48 hours. Using overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) as...

Data from: Who’s for dinner? High-throughput sequencing reveals bat diet differentiation in a biodiversity hotspot where prey taxonomy is largely undescribed

Joanna M. Burgar, Daithi C. Murray, Michael D. Craig, James Haile, Jayne Houston, Vicki Stokes & Michael Bunce
Effective management and conservation of biodiversity requires understanding of predator–prey relationships to ensure the continued existence of both predator and prey populations. Gathering dietary data from predatory species, such as insectivorous bats, often presents logistical challenges, further exacerbated in biodiversity hot spots because prey items are highly speciose, yet their taxonomy is largely undescribed. We used high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and bioinformatic analyses to phylogenetically group DNA sequences into molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) to examine...

Data from: High suckling rates and acoustic crypsis of humpback whale neonates maximise potential for mother–calf energy transfer

Simone K. A. Videsen, Lars Bejder, Mark Johnson & Peter T. Madsen
1. The migration of humpback whales to and from their breeding grounds results in a short, critical time period during which neonatal calves must acquire sufficient energy via suckling from their fasting mothers to survive the long return journey. 2. Understanding neonate suckling behaviour is critical for understanding the energetics and evolution of humpback whale migratory behaviour and for informing conservation efforts, but despite its importance, very little is known about the details, rate and...

Data from: Temporally and spatially partitioned behaviours of spinner dolphins: implications for resilience to human disturbance

Julian A. Tyne, David W. Johnston, Fredrik Christiansen & Lars Bejder
Selective forces shape the evolution of wildlife behavioural strategies and influence the spatial and temporal partitioning of behavioural activities to maximize individual fitness. Globally, wildlife is increasingly exposed to human activities which may affect their behavioural activities. The ability of wildlife to compensate for the effects of human activities may have implications for their resilience to disturbance. Resilience theory suggests that behavioural systems which are constrained in their repertoires are less resilient to disturbance than...

Data from: Population density and size influence pollen dispersal pattern and mating system of the predominantly outcrossed Banksia nivea (Proteaceae) in a threatened ecological community

Rujiporn Thavornkanlapachai, Philip G. Ladd & Margaret Byrne
Gene flow is a critical component of plant mating systems and influences population fitness, yet pollen dispersal can be highly variable and influenced by natural and anthropogenic fragmentation. Gene flow through pollen dispersal was investigated in two populations of contrasting size and habitat context in Banksia nivea ssp. uliginosa, a rare species in the Busselton ironstone threatened ecological community with a naturally fragmented distribution. Paternity analysis was conducted with seven microsatellite loci to determine mating...

Data from: Predictors of Phytophthora diversity and community composition in natural areas across diverse Australian ecoregions

Treena I. Burgess, Keith L. McDougall, Peter M. Scott, Giles E. Hardy, Jeff Garnas & Giles E. StJ. Hardy
Comprehensive understanding of the patterns and drivers of microbial diversity at a landscape scale is in its infancy, despite the recent ease by which soil communities can be characterized using massively parallel amplicon sequencing. Here we report on a comprehensive analysis of the drivers of diversity distribution and composition of the ecologically and economically important Phytophthora genus from 414 soil samples collected across Australia. We assessed 22 environmental and seven categorical variables as potential predictors...

Data from: Nonlinear scaling of foraging contacts with rodent population density

Benny Borremans, Jonas Reijniers, Nelika K. Hughes, Stephanie S. Godfrey, Sophie Gryseels, Rhodes H. Makundi & Herwig Leirs
Density-dependent shifts in population processes like territoriality, reproduction, dispersal, and parasite transmission are driven by changes in contacts between individuals. Despite this, surprisingly little is known about how contacts change with density, and thus the mechanisms driving density-dependent processes. A simple linear contact-density function is often assumed, but this is not based on a sound basis of empirical data. We addressed this question using a replicated, semi-natural experiment in which we measured contacts at feeding...

Data from: A critical evaluation of how ancient DNA bulk bone metabarcoding complements traditional morphological analysis of fossil assemblages

Alicia C. Grealy, Matthew C. McDowell, Paul Scofield, Dáithí C. Murray, Diana A. Fusco, James Haile, Gavin J. Prideaux & Michael Bunce
When pooled for extraction as a bulk sample, the DNA within morphologically unidentifiable fossil bones can, using next-generation sequencing, yield valuable taxonomic data. This method has been proposed as a means to rapidly and cost-effectively assess general ancient DNA preservation at a site, and to investigate temporal and spatial changes in biodiversity; however, several caveats have yet to be considered. We critically evaluated the bulk bone metabarcoding (BBM) method in terms of its: (i) repeatability,...

Data from: Deep sequencing of plant and animal DNA contained within traditional Chinese medicines reveals legality issues and health safety concerns

Megan L. Coghlan, James Haile, Jayne Houston, Dáithí C. Murray, Nicole E. White, Paula Moolhuijzen, Matthew I. Bellgard & Michael Bunce
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been practiced for thousands of years, but only within the last few decades has its use become more widespread outside of Asia. Concerns continue to be raised about the efficacy, legality and safety of many popular complementary alternative medicines, including TCMs. Ingredients of some TCMs are known to include derivatives of endangered, trade-restricted species of plant and animal and therefore contravene the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)...

Data from: Intrinsic factors drive spatial genetic variation in a highly vagile species, the wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax), in Tasmania

Christopher P. Kozakiewicz, Scott Carver, Jeremy J. Austin, Jill M. Shephard & Christopher P. Burridge
Knowledge of dispersal in a species, both its quantity and the factors influencing it, are crucial for our understanding of ecology and evolution, and for species conservation. Here we quantified and formally assessed the potential contribution of extrinsic factors on individual dispersal in the threatened Tasmanian population of wedge-tailed eagle, Aquila audax. As successful breeding by these individuals appears strongly related to habitat, we tested the effect of landscape around sampling sites on genetic diversity...

Data from: New species from Phytophthora Clade 6a: evidence for recent radiation

Treena I. Burgess, Agnes V. Simamora, Diane White, Briony Williams, Michelle Schwager, Michael J. C. Stukely, Giles Hardy, T.I. Burgess, B. Wiliams, G.E.St.J. Hardy & A.V. Simamora
During routine vegetation health surveys in the southwest of Western Australia (SWWA), several Phytophthora isolates with affinity to Clade 6a have been recovered. In this study, all known species from Clade 6a, P. inundata, P. humicola, P. gemini, P. ‘walnut’ and P. ‘personii’, and the new isolates were compared based on morphology and DNA sequence data from three nuclear genes and two mitochondrial genes resulting in the description of five new species, P. balyanboodja, P....

Data from: Resistance and resilience to changing climate and fire regime depend on plant functional traits

Neal J. Enright, Joseph B. Fontaine, Byron B. Lamont, Ben P. Miller & Vanessa C. Westcott
Changing disturbance-climate interactions will drive shifts in plant communities: these effects are not adequately quantified by environmental niche models used to predict future species distributions. We quantified the effects of more frequent fire and lower rainfall - as projected to occur under a warming and drying climate - on population responses of shrub species in biodiverse Mediterranean-climate type shrublands near Eneabba, southwestern Australia. Using experimental fires, we measured the density of all shrub species for...

Data from: Ontogenetic development of intestinal length and relationships to diet in an Australasian fish family (Terapontidae)

Aaron M. Davis, Peter J. Unmack, Bradley J. Pusey, Richard G. Pearson & David L. Morgan
Background: One of the most widely accepted ecomorphological relationships in vertebrates is the negative correlation between intestinal length and proportion of animal prey in diet. While many fish groups exhibit this general pattern, other clades demonstrate minimal, and in some cases contrasting, associations between diet and intestinal length. Moreover, this relationship and its evolutionary derivation have received little attention from a phylogenetic perspective. This study documents the phylogenetic development of intestinal length variability, and resultant...

Data from: Adaptive variation for growth and resistance to a novel pathogen along climatic gradients in a foundation tree

Collin W. Ahrens, Richard A. Mazanec, Trudy Paap, Katinka X. Ruthrof, Anthea Challis, Giles Hardy, Margaret Byrne, David T. Tissue & Paul D. Rymer
Natural ecosystems are under pressure from increasing abiotic and biotic stressors, including climate change and novel pathogens, which are putting species at risk of local extinction, and altering community structure, composition, and function. Here, we aim to assess adaptive variation in growth and fungal disease resistance within a foundation tree, Corymbia calophylla to determine local adaptation, trait heritability, and genetic constraints in adapting to future environments. Two experimental planting sites were established in regions of...

Data from: Combined DNA, toxicological and heavy metal analyses provides an auditing toolkit to improve pharmacovigilance of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Megan L. Coghlan, Garth Maker, Elly Crighton, James Haile, Dáithí C. Murray, Nicole E. White, Roger W. Byard, Matthew I. Bellgard, Ian Mullaney, Robert Trengove, Richard J. N. Allcock, Christine Nash, Claire Hoban, Kevin Jarrett, Ross Edwards, Ian F. Musgrave & Michael Bunce
Globally, there has been an increase in the use of herbal remedies including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). There is a perception that products are natural, safe and effectively regulated, however, regulatory agencies are hampered by a lack of a toolkit to audit ingredient lists, adulterants and constituent active compounds. Here, for the first time, a multidisciplinary approach to assessing the molecular content of 26 TCMs is described. Next generation DNA sequencing is combined with toxicological...

Data from: DNA metabarcoding for diet analysis and biodiversity: A case study using the endangered Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea)

Tina E. Berry, Sylvia K. Osterrieder, Dáithí C. Murray, Megan L. Coghlan, Anthony J. Richardson, Alicia K. Grealy, Michael Stat, Lars Bejder & Michael Bunce
The analysis of apex predator diet has the ability to deliver valuable insights into ecosystem health, and the potential impacts a predator might have on commercially relevant species. The Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) is an endemic apex predator and one of the world's most endangered pinnipeds. Given that prey availability is vital to the survival of top predators, this study set out to understand what dietary information DNA metabarcoding could yield from 36 sea...

Plant functional traits differ in adaptability and are predicted to be differentially affected by climate change

Collin Ahrens, Margaret Andrew, Richard Mazanec, Katinka Ruthrof, Anthea Challis, Giles Hardy, Margaret Byrne, David T. Tissue & Paul Rymer
1. Climate change is testing the resilience of forests worldwide pushing physiological tolerance to climatic extremes. Plant functional traits have been shown to be adapted to climate, and have evolved patterns of trait correlations (similar patterns of distribution) and coordinations (mechanistic trade-off). We predicted that traits would differentiate between populations associated with climatic gradients, suggestive of adaptive variation, and correlated traits would adapt to future climate scenarios in similar ways. 2. We measured genetically determined...

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  • Murdoch University
  • University of Western Australia
  • Curtin University
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Zurich
  • UNSW Sydney
  • James Cook University
  • University of Adelaide
  • Duke University
  • University of Melbourne